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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  June 8, 2017 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT

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michael beschloss, thank you for being with us tonight, sir. it's great to have you. >> thank you. be well, rachel. >> that does it for us tonight. it's been seven months since the election. we'll see you again tomorrow. now it's time for t"the last wod with lawrence o'donnell." >> rachel, when i was watching your last hour, oh, we were taking notes together when we were watching the hearing. the jeff sessions stuff jumped out at me right away when james comey said, well, we weren't going to tell him because we knew he was going to have to recuse himself really stunning. every line in the written testimony that we got yesterday which was explosive enough had tentacles, had expansions in that hearing today. >> you know, t sessions stuff is super interesting to me because there was this mystery left over from the written testimony, which was how did the fbi know two weeks in advance that sessions was going to recuse? he sort of cleared that up. but then we got this other super
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red hot stuff about jeff sessions today, that comey was willing to talk to sessions about these matters of appropriate with the president. don't leave me alone with this president. make sure you put yourself between me and the president. but even though he was willing to be that confrontational with sessions, he still never told him about the president saying ki kibosh the flynn medication. and there was something he could only disclose in classified sessions about jeff sessions and the russians that would make it problematic to discuss wit the attorney general. that was brand-new today and i thought absolutely stunning. >> as you pointed out, james comey basically gave the committees and the investigators, okay, here is your list of your next several witnesses. here are all the people i talked to. they can all corroborate what i said or challenge what i said in any way. jeff sessions you obviously to v
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to get under oath as soon as possible about this. it was a tremendous hearing for setting the table for what happens next. >> yeah. and because of that, we got so clear on the potential obstruction of justice issue. for me, we still have obviously this hugely important questions to get answered in terms of what happened with russia. and we know that bob mueller's investigation is looking into that. but even if russia never happened, just the stuff about whether or not the president tried to shut down an ongoing criminal investigation into his former national security adviser, just that obstruction of justice question is so stark now in terms of how the he said-he said stacks up. on the one hand, it's comey, yeah, and the other hand it's the president. but comey has so much corroborating evidence behind him, and the president has nothing of the sort. it just -- i felt like today it was watching -- it was like watching the washington generals get their clock cleaned in terms of that particular matter of law. >> harvard professor laurence tribe is going to join us about talking about the difference of
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making an obstruction of justice case in court or using obstruction of justice as an element in a bill of impeachment as was used with president nixon. and this is the bill of impeachment is a much lower threshold actually to clear than what you have to get over in a courtroom. >> exactly. you can't necessarily indict a president. but that's no comfort to a president whose at any risk of impeachment. that's exactly right. >> it is possible to be, as we've seen before an unindicted co-conspirator. all that language may be coming back into our lives. >> thank you, lawrence. good luck tonight. >> thank you, rachel. >> thanks, my friend. well, today was, really was, as it was predicted to be the worst day of the trump presidency. and donald trump knows it. and the proof that donald trump knows that this has been the worst day of his presidency is that he did not tweet a wor today.
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not one tweet about anything. not one word about james comey who called the president of the united states a liar today. and while he was at it james comey called the white house spokespeople liars too. >> the administration then chose to defame me, and more importantly, the fbi by saying that the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly led, that the workforce had lost confidence in its leader. those were lies, plain and simple. and i am so sorry that the fbi workforce had the hear them. and i'm so sorry that the american people were told them. >> imagine right now at this moment the seething rage that you know the president is living with. right now. you've seen enough of his behavior to know that when he is criticized by anyone, he needs to lash out on twitter as fast as possible with a rage tweet aimed at that person. he has done to it me. he has done to it other people on this network. he has done it to other people
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we've never heard of until he attacked that person for criticizing him. he obviously needs, needs do it. he obviously gets a certain relief, a certain pleasure, perhaps, from viciously attacking his critics. but he is sitting there tonight in the white house, staring at that overused tv without having had that relief, that pleasure. how agonizing is that for him? for someone who fills with rage so easily to be able to release that rage is so important. we've had reliable reports that the president explodes in rage at his staff inside the white house, sometimes even worse than his public explosions on twitter. and that might be happening in the white house tonight. there is a report in the daily beast tonight that white house staff are all worried about a
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possible late night twitter storm. possibly during this hour. but not yet. imagine how unsatisfactory that is for the man who so desperately needs and likes retweets of his rage. he hasn't been able to do that today. he needs to see on twitter how many people share his rage. can't do that now. so this, this is the darkest night in the trump white house so far. we know this because we know the nature of the person living in the white house. we know how he deals with criticism. he has made that very public. james comey knew the nature of the person he was meeting before he met donald trump. he knew that donald trump spent years lying about president obama's birth certificate. he knew that donald trump lied about seeing thousands of people celebrating the 9/11 attacks in new jersey. he knew that donald trump had told a string of lies about when he would release his tax returns. he knew that donald trump lied
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aboutosing hundreds of friends on 9/11. he lost none, not one. he never went to a single 9/11 funeral. he lied about all of that. james comey knew that donald trump had defrauded the students of trump university, lied to them about what trump university was and what it would be for them. lied to those students and took their money. james comey knew who he was meeting that day in trump tower on january 6th. and in his written testimony that was released yesterday, james comey said i felt compelled to document my first conversation with the president-elect in a memo. today james comey explained exactly why he felt compelled to do that. >> i knew that there might come a day when i would need a record of what had happened not just to defend myself, but to defend the fbi and our integrity as an institution and the independence of our investigative function. >> he knew there might come a day. that day has come that day was today.
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he explained that he never took notes of his discussions with previous presidents, obama and bush, because he trusted them. why did james comey think that there might come a day when he would need a record of what happened? because he didn't trust donald trump. he said it was a combination of things that made him decide to take notes. the circumstances, the subject matter, and third, the nature of the person. here is what james comey s about the nature of the person. >> and the nature of the person. i was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting. so i thought it really important to document. >> the nature of the person. the nature of the person has been obvious for many years to anyone who has been listening to donald trump. i started calling him a liar on this program in 2011, as soon as he opened his mouth about
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president obama's birth certificate. it took the rest of the news media to catch up and finally describe trump's statements as lies. he is a proven liar. that is the nature of the person james comey was about to meet. that's why james comey was concerned that he might lie. because james comey had heard him lie many times before. we all have. the world has. no one in public life has lied as much about as many things as donald trump. and so not one republican senator on the committee today tried to defend donald trump. not one of them said i don't believe donald trump would have asked for your loyalty. not one of them said i don't believe donald trump would have asked you to stop the investigation of michael flynn. no one on that committee said today i know donald trump, and donald trump would never do what you're saying he did. donald trump is an honorable man. donald trump would never say what you're saying he said. no one on that committee tried to say that.
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one republican senator tried to suggest that president trump only expressed his hope, his hope to james comey when he said "i hope you can see yr way clear to letting this go, to letting flynn go. he is a good guy. i hope you can let this go." james comey did not take that as a hope. circumstances i took it as a direction. >> when marco rubio characterized it as an order, comey agreed that it was an order. it could be characterized that way. james comey didn't carry out that order or direction or hope or whatever you want to call it, and he was fired by the president, whose order, whose hope he defied. as reported on this program, president trump was unable to hire an experienced washington lawyer to defend him in this investigation. and so he is stuck with the same new york lawyer with no experience in washington who has participated in donald trump's
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frivolous lawsuits against people who have criticized donald trump, and who has defended donald trump in the trump university fraud case that cost donald trump $25 million. that lawyer, who has no idea at all how to defend a president in a situation like this that could lead to impeachment, that lawyer made a terrible mistake. of ending the day today with a credibility contest between a proven public pathological liar and former director of the fbi james comey. >> the president never in form or substance suggested or direct that james comey stop investigating anyone, including the esident never sugsted that mr. comey, quote, let flynn go, close quote. the president also never told mr. comey, quote, i need loyalty. i expect loyalty, close quote.
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he never said it in form. and he never said it in substance. >> joining us now exclusively, laurence tribe, harvard constitutional law professor. professor tribe, i want to get your overall reaction to the hearing today. but specifically, to what we just heard from the president's lawyer, what does that open up? lawyers have to be careful about what they say because of what it can open up on the other side of whoever contest they're in. here he is in effect saying james comey perjured himself today by testifying under oath to these things he claimed the president said, which the president did not say. what now does that open up in terms of the presidency? does that mean that the president now has to testify under oath himself? >> well, he certainly would resist doing that. but in a credibility contest between someone who seems to
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have no concept of truth, and someone who has never been criticized as dishonest, it seems quite clear that comey, who made contemporaneous notes and told the entire leadership of the fbi what the psident had quite corruptly and improperly asked him to do in a context where the request was really an order, in that kind of contest, the president doesn't stand a chance. but of course the president is not going to be put on trial in a normal criminal court. sitting presidents are not tried for crimes. he could probably be indicted by a grand jury. that's never been tested. but the indictment would inevitably be handed to the house of representatives. which would then have to decide whether to proceed with a bill
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of impeachment, or several bills of impeachment. so this is deadly serious. as comey himself said, the underlying facts about an alien power meddling in the very heart of our democracy and our sovereignty are bad enough. but to compound that with attempts by the president to interfere with the justice department's search for truth through the fbi is really to pile on things that are even more serious than what we saw in watergate. so this is a real crisis. it's a crisis that our constitution has mechanisms for handling. >> i want to get your reaction to something your colleague alan dershowitz said on this network today. he is making the argument that it is actually constitutionally imssible to charge the president with obstruction of
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juice because he actually has technical authority and can order an fbi director to stop an investigation. let's listen to what he said. >> well, i think comey made a very significant statement today. he said he believed the constitutional authorizes the president to tell the director of the fbi who to investigate, who not to investigate, who to prosecute, who not to prosecute. he is 100% right about that constitutional analysis. so we have to get obstruction of justice off the table. >> your reaction to, that professor. >> well, i like alan. i respect him. i've long admired a lot of his work. but he couldn't possibly be more wrong. i think he has really forgotten some basic principles of constitutional law. the fact that the president has the power and the authority do something is of course given to begin with. it's the abuse of that power that is the subject of impeachment proceedings and of
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the crime, the obstruction of justice. sure, a president can tell the fbi i don't want you to waste resources prosecuting people for mere possession of controlled substances. what we can't do is tell the director of the fbi i don't want you to go after my friends or to go after my national security adviser, even if it turns out that he helped me collude with russia to undermine our democracy so that i could get richer. i mean, abusing power, corruptly using it the obstruction. as much as i admire alan dershowitz, i think he is completely off base with this. >> being developed against president nixon in their bill of impeachment when president nixon resigned rather than face that trial. >> that's right. and the abuse in that case was
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remarkably similar to this. nixon, rather than himself telling the fbi to lay off was little chicken about it. he essentially told the cia director and others to lean on the fbi. well, apparently very much the same happened here. we have reason to believe that president trump told dan coats and told admiral rogers to reinforce his threat to the fbi director by telling the fbi director to lay off of flynn. and of course we know that he directly fired comey lying about the reasons, and he did it because of the russia investigation.
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and he also abused his power in lying about the reasons. that is when director comey, who is a mild mannered man, who does not call someone a liar easily, when he said the president lied in saying the fbi was in shambles, he added that the president defamed the fbi, undermined that vital national institution. just as the president lied about president obama. not only about the birth certificate, but pretending obama had wiretapped it. this guy is willing to throw his weight around and his power around. and that's an abuse of power. it's really a remarkable thing. in this context, the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts. you've got a little obstruction of justice here, a little there. you have the abuse of power by defaming the fbi. you a kind of bribing situation
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with a guy who wants to stay as director of the fbi and a president who has told him repeatedly, yes, i'm glad to have you, whispered in his ear i want to work with you, and then dangles above his head the sword of damocles saying but i'm going get rid of you unless you plead loyalty to me. i mean, the entire thing is just a dramatic imbroglio. >> harvard professor, laurence tri tribe, real honor to have you on this lead-off segment tonight. it's been a real honor nor me. >> thanks. >> how long before we find fought there are tapes of the trump conversations? i think, i personally suspect that the president proved today that there are no tapes. that's next.
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and get medical help right away. ask your doctor about cialis. [boy] cannonball! and get medical help right away. [girl] don't... [man] not again! [burke] swan drive. seen it. covered it. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ a lot of this comes down to who should we believe. do you want to say anything as to why we should believe you? >> my mother raised me not to say things like this about myself, so i'm not going to. i think people should look at the whole body of my testimony,
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because as i used to say to juries and when i talked about a witness, you can't cherry pick it. you can't say i like these things he said, but on this he is a dirty rotten liar. you have the take it all together. i've tried to be open and fair and transparent and accurate. a really significant fact to me is so why did he kick everybody out of the oval office. why would you kick the attorney general, the president, the chief of staff out to talk to me if it was about something else? >> joining the discussion now, david frum, senior editor for the atlantic, and john heilemann, national affairs analyst for msnbc. david, on important historical nights like this, i just want to give you a free open field to set for us what it is we saw today. >> well, i think what we saw was the collapse of all of the explanations and excuses that the president's team has been making over the past couple of days, anticipating this. testimony.
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the president's team has been saying their great vindication was that in january, when the fbi director met with the president, the president asked him, hey, this big espionage inquiry you're having, am i at this time one of the targets of the investigation. the fbi said no, sir, you are not personally a target of this espionage investigation we're doing. and the president says that's great, i'm fine. so it was just my campaign, then, not me personally. there is no problem. that's the vindication. and the president's lawyer is today now saying actually, we're giving up even on that. and we are going to say our defense is that james comey, because of some imaginary concept of privilege that no actual executive branch lawyer would uphold, he should not have told the truth about the fallacies the president had previously put on the public record. >> john heilemann, the white house is being challenged very directly by james comey here. it's not just the president who he is saying is lying. he is saying the president's
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experiences are lying. >> right. >> and he's pretty much has proof of that so far. >> well, look, lawrence, i've been watching both rachel's show and this show. and you guys have pointed out correctly if there is a contest of veracity and a contest of evidence what has always seemed to be so important, and i'll get to this in a second, but comey's contporaneous notes and all the people he toldn realtime about this meeting he had with trump and all the meetings and conversations he had with trump. it seems to me they are fighting a very lopsided war against comey here on the question of who is to be believed, who is more credible. and i think the main thing we learned today, and david just sort of hinted at this, right, it almost doesn't matter whether donald trump was being investigated in connection with the collusion case back in january, in february, in march. what matters is we learned today by inference and by very strong suggestion from comey that he is currently under investigation by robert mueller for on instruction of justice almost
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certainly, and possibly for at least for his campaign being involved with collusion with the russians. and part of the way we know that is not just what comey said, but comey's memos have not been introduced to the senate, and robert mueller has them, which suggest she's on the track of obstruction of justice which would seem the most dangerous thing facing donald trump in the immediate future. >> and here is why i think we now have virtual proof that there are no white house tapes. and that is the president's lawyer's statement today where the president specifically contradicts james comey's dialogue in those meetings and where the president says i didn't say those things. he would only say that if he knew that there were no tapes of these meetings. >> right. >> david frum. if there are tapes that are subpoenable that have not already been burn order something like that, he would never, never engage on this credibility contest with what james comey actually said in that room. >> but here is a more
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fundamental problem of the tapes. the dinner with james comey did not take place in the west wing. it took place in main white house on the part that is on the $20 bill. so how -- either there is -- either the president turned his iphone on in his pocket, which is hard to imagine, or else the president has somehow got the regular white house staff who are public servants and kind of post officy, not to be critical of them. but they're not the most nimble and obedient workforce, they've got long traditions, to screw microphones into the woodwork of the main building? you can see all this happening in the west wing where the president's people are in charge. but in the main white house where the dinner took place, it's either an iphone in the president's pocket or microphones installed in woodwork and antiques. i don't see how that works. >> tonight kellyanne conway being asked about what these tapes. and she just says on fox news, i can't comment on that. i can't comment on that. >> right. >> there is just no sense to the
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answer. there either are tapes or are there are not tapes. >> and the fact that we don't have an answer to this at this point now fully a month or more since the prospect was first raised in donald trump's tweet tells you a lot. i'll just say the iron in of the fact that that one tweet, if the tapes don't exist, trump writing that tweet which we know provoked comey to go to his friend at least brief the press which triggered the special prosecutor. the irony of that is extraordinary. it could be the lie in the tweet or the suggestion, the suggested lie in that tweet could be the thing that brings about trump's downfall entirely of his own doing. if he hadn't sent that tweet, comey might never have been provoked to let the memos become public in the round about way he did. >> and david, he also by making it public helped create a demand for this hearing, which probably overcame any thoughts in the
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white house of any attempts at trying to exert executive privilege. >> the white house said there will be no -- they waived executive privilege. the president's lawyer has now created this new theory even if we don't exercise privilege in front of congress, which is where the privilege is usually used, that somehow this creates a lifetime vow of silence among any executive branch employee about anything that happened, even if the president talked about it first, even if the conversation point to the kind of crimes that u.s. versus nixon said void executive privilege. somehow that anyone who has ever had contact with the president has a lifetime obligation not to repeat what the president said. that's a wacky theory. >> and of course conversations with the president appear in erashington memoir where th memoirist has ever had a conversation with the president. >> i'm a big believer in the old tradition that when i work for a president, if you write a
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memoir, you never quote the president directly because he has a right to privacy. but not if he is inviting you to take part in crimes. >> david, john heilemann, thank you both for joining me tonight. really appreciate it. >> thanks, lawrence. coming up, paul ryan is one of the only republicans, maybe the only republican today defending donald trump, and his defense is donald trump's sheer utter total ignorance. termites, feasting on homes 24/7.
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the strongest defense that any republican mounted for president trump today was that donald trump is the most ignorant president in history. >> the president's new at this. he is new to government. and so he probably wasn't steeped in the long running protocols that establish the relationships between doj, fbi and white houses. he is just new to this. >> speaking of steeped and long running protocol, governor jimmy carter and governor ronald rean and governor bill clinton and governor george w. bush were not steeped in those long running protocols of the federal government when they took the oath of office as president of the united states. joining us now, george f. will, a pulitzer prize winning journalist for "the washington post" and msnbc political analyst. george, the ignorance defense, how far will that get president trump? >> well, you certainly can't
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argue with it in the sense while donald trump campaigned for president, promising to be not just indifferent to hostile to, to overthrow the custom, more ways and dispositions that have normally governed our politics. in politics, in baseball, in all kinds of human activity, there are the written dejure rooulz rules that prescribe or mandate certain behaviors, and then there is the unwritten common law evolved sense of right and wrong. mr. trump is, a, new to this environment, and b, indifferent, if not hostile to these rules. so in that sense what mr. ryan says is right. one wonders why a year and six days ago he endorsed him for president. >> let's listen to what james comey said in the hearing today that is the biggest hole in the ignorance defense. and that of course is the moment when the president very deliberately clears the room.
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>> a really significant fact to me is so why did he kick everybody out of the oval office. why would you kick the attorney general, the president, the chief of staff out to talk to me if it was about something else? and so that -- that to me as an investigator is a very significant fact. >> that was the question that no republican attempted to answer today. why did the president kick everyone out of the office. >> i have to say at this point i would be hard-pressed to say who i think behaved worse in this, mr. comey or mr. trump. mr trump is a novice and esn't knownything and is not just indifferent but hostile to the manners of our government. mr. comey is a big boy. he has been immersed in this for a very long time, and he knows better. when mr. reich, the senator from idaho said "did the president demand that you lay off mr. flynn," his national security adviser, mr. comey said "not in those words."
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at which point mr. comey began to talk about body language. senator rubio tried to ride to mr. comey's rescue and said did you perceive it as an order? at that point mr. comey said yes. at this point, then, dianne feinstein, democratic senator from california says, well, why didn't you object? and he said well, i was stunned and i didn't have the presence of mind. that does not pass the test it seems to me. it's a fair question, and a good one. why did mr. trump clear the office before having this conversation. an equally fair question raised by senator feinstein, why did mr. comey at this point lose his voice. but the person now whose in the crosshairs of the investigation is the president, not general motors. so for him, he is the run who really needs an answer to why did he clear that room.
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>> yes. look, there is no question what the president did was unseemly and wrong, and mr. comey is right the say it was unseemly and wrong. senator feinstein is right the say kwi that, and being as vastly experienced as you mr. comey are in the ways of washington, why didn't you say so? for a man of his poise and experience to say he was stun and lost his presence of mind strikes me as odd. >> george, how do you compare the obstruction of justice elements that we're hearing in this case versus the one that brought down president nixon. when i played the tape the other night, i played it a cup of times where bob haldeman lays out a case of john dean's idea that we get the cia to tell pat gray at the cia to lay off this investigation. and all president nixon does on that tape is to say "uh-huh," and you can barely hear the "uh-huh" on the tape. that was enough for one of the elements of obstruction of
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justice in the articles of impeachment. >> that's right. article i of the impeachment voted by the house in 1974 i guess it was, by the time they got around to voting on it was an attempt to obstruct the investigation of a crime. the difference at this point, lawrence, is this. at this point, the crimes were clear. the crimes were going to send people to prison. the crimes were burglary and cover-up and discovery of evidence and hush money and all the rest. at this point there is no such clear predicate for the cover-up. when mr. nixon said "uh-huh," he didn't even have to say "uh-huh." the very fact that had he remained silent and not objected to this would have been itself incriminating. >> george will, thank you very much for joining us tonight. really appreciate it. >> glad to be with you. coming up, the video record of james comey's statements versus president trump's statements about exactly the same things. that's next. ♪
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here are just some of today's points of conflict between james comey and president trump. >> the fbi has been in turmoil. you know that. i know that. everybody knows that. >> those were lies, plain and simple. >> he wanted to have dinner because he wanted to stay on. we had a very nice dinner at the white house. >> he asked for the dinner? >> at dinner it was arranged. i think he asked for the din. >> is that an accurate statement? >> no, sir. >> did you initiate that dinner? >> no, sir. he called me at my desk at lunchtime and asked was i free for dinner that night. >> the president appeared to have threatened the director's job while telling him, quote, i need loyalty. i expect loyalty. >> i didn't ask that question did he ask specifically of
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loyalty in the context of asking me to stay. >> did you at any time urge fbi director james comey to back down the investigation into michael flynn? and also, as you look back -- >> no, no. next question. >> i hope this is the president speaking. i hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting flynn go. he is a good guy. i hope you can let this go. now those are his act words, is that correct? >> correct. i took it as a direction. >> what about the idea that in a tweet you said that there might be tape recordings? >> well, that i can't talk about that. i won't talk about that. all i want is for comey to be honest. and i hope he will be. and i hope he will be, i hope. >> lordy, i hope there are tapes. >> so who is telling the truth? take your time. maybe rewind the tape, watch it a couple of times. don't rush to judgment. what's next for the investigation? intelligence committee member -- house intelligence committee eric swalwell and former house
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committee staffer mieke eoyang will join us. (burke) at farmers, we've seen almost everything, so we know how to cover almost anything. even a coupe soup. [woman] so beautiful. [man] beautiful just like you. [woman] oh, why thank you. [burke] and we covered it, november sixth, two-thousand-nine. talk to farmers. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪
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why didn't you stop and say, "mr. president, this is wrong, i cannot discuss this with you"? >> it's a great question. maybe if i were stronger, i would have. i was s stunned by t conversation that i just took it in. and the only thing i could think to say, because i was playing in my mind, because remember, every word he said, i was playing in my mind what should my response be. and that's why i very carefully chose the words. look, i've seen the tweet about tapes. lordy, i hope there are tapes. >> joining us now, congressman eric swalwell, a democratic member from california, member of the house intelligence committee. also with us mieke eoyang, a lawyer and former staff member of the house intelligence committee. congressman swalwell, your reaction to james comey's explanation to senator feinstein there. we talked about this in an earlier segment tonight. and i just want to get your
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reaction to it. >> it just rings of truth, lawrence. as a former prosecutor, when you're examining a witness and trying to put their credibility before a jury, you want them to be consistent, but you also wan before a jury you want them to be consistent but you also want them to be human. that's what i think would conveyed today. he gave perfectly imperfect testimony. you understood that he himself did not believe he did everything that a perfect person would do, but i did everything that i think an honest person would do. also lawrence i'll just point out, the president wants to accept everything that james comey says that helps him and dismiss everything that hurts him. i think the american people are going the believe james comey. >> mika, i don't know about you as a staff person, but i know i had moments like thats a sff person in the senate including in the oval office where i realized in this moment what is important is not what i say but
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what i remember. and i need to record in my mind every word that's being said right now and on the way out of the building, out of the white house, i would pull the reporter's noted book i would keep in my pocket out and start writing it down right there. those are two different brain functions, trying to record what exactly is being said to you versus what am i going to respond to this? >> i think comey felt as a good lawyer he had to write it down immediately. when asked about it he said because he thought from his first meeting with the president that the president with not be honest about their conversations. that's just shocking. he decided he was going to have to make a record. at the same time his stunned silence in this moment shows what a big break from the norm this is, this request that the president made of him. >> congressman swalwell, two thing about this moment with james comey. one, he is an active investigator in the middle of investigation and someone who is a quasi witness of sorts in this
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investigation is saying things to him that are very important about this investigation. there's -- part of what's going on is he wants this guy to keep talking. he wants to get for and more out of this person. and you can cut that off by saying don't talk like that. and the other part of it is, george will mentioned it earlier in the program as a disappointment in james comey. if it is a dispotment in james comey, i anyone feels like that, there is nothi in that moment that's good for donald trump. nothing in that moment that gets donald trump off the hook. >> it's very damaging for donald trump. each viewed in the best light it shows somebody unprepared for office. paul ryan says he is new at it but you don't get spring training game in the oval office. looked in a more realistic light it was somebody trying to use the power of his office to make a case for his friend go away. >> mika, where do we go from
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here? there were some fairly stunning to me and rachel anyway revelations today about jeff sessions about director comey knowing that jeff sessions was going to have to recuse himself, and director comey specifically avoiding telling jeff sessions certain things that the president said to him. >> that's right. i think the attorney general's relations with russia during the campaign and afterwards -- his failure to come clean about it they will have to investigate that. the other thing was the -- there was a lot more about what is in this investigation and how close it actually gets to the president of the united states. >> congressman swalwell, as we sit here tonight, would we have a special prosecutor if james comey had not been fired? >> probably not. we had been calling for one. but certainly that was an
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inflection point. we also believe that we need independent commission to look at how we were so vulnerable, whether any u.s. persons were involved and make sure that this never happens again. let me just say the cost of the chaos the president has created by interfering with the fbi, by interfering with the house intelligence committee it has brought the city to a halt and prevented us from doing the other important work we have to do for the people we represent. >> mika, inside a new confirmation hearing question for every nominee of this president, that is did you take a loyalty oath to president trump? >> yes, it is very concerning this would be imposed on people. traditionally government officials take their oath to the constitution and to the nation. it is not a question of personal loyalty. by doing that it's breaking one of the items of integrity, it's
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about we the people. not we the president. >> thank you for joining us. tonight's last word is next. about your medicines, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, or adempas® for pulmonary hypertension, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess. to avoid long-term injury, get medical help right away for an erection lasting more than four hours. if you have a sudden decrease or loss of hearing or vision, or an allergic reaction, stop taking cialis and get medical help right away. ask your doctor about cialis. and get medical help right away. itthe power of nexium 24hr protection from frequent heartburn. all day, and all night. now packed into a pill so small, we call it mini. new clearmis from nexium 24hr. see heartburn differently. it can be sculpted, in beautiful detail. or painted in luxurious strokes. ♪ and in rare cases...both.
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priest. >> you said, he said i hope you will hold back on that. but when you get a -- when a president of the united states in the oval office says something like i hope or i suggest or would you, do you take that as a directive? >> yes. yes. it rings in my ear as kin of, will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest henry the second said who will rid me of this meddlesome priest, and the next day he was killed. >> in 1173, pope zan zand made thomas becquerelsette a saint. today was the first time in history that the president of the united states was compared to king henry the second. which means it is the first time and i hope not the last time that we can give last word to peter o'toole. >> will no one rid me of this
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meddlesome priest? a priest who mocks me. >> peter o'toole gets tonight's last word. "the 11th hour" with brian williams is next. tonight, james comey under oath, accuses president trump of lying, says he was fired because of the russia investigation, and reveals he turned over his notes to spark a special counsel investigate. the president thus far quiet on twitter today, letting his lawyer do the talking. and new tonight, trump's son-in-law jared kushner said to meet with senate intel officers later this month before he ultimately hands over documents and answered senators' questions. "the 11thour" gins now. good evening once again from our headquarters here in new york. day 140 of the trump